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There is no such thing as a near zero crime rate for homeless people. Also, just being warm is not sufficient. Homeless people need so much more than that, it's daunting. A short starter list:

  * food & water
  * access to shower
  * laundry
  * medical care
  * dental care
  * education
  * legal advice / support
  * the list goes on...
(disclosure: 16 years of on-again, off-again homelessness as a child and a 6 month period of true homelessness as a young adult -- AirBnbs do not count.)



There is no such thing as a near zero crime rate for homeless people.

Some things that increase safety on the street:

Don't take any disrespect off of anyone. Push back or walk away at the first insult. Otherwise, it escalates.

Try to stay clean and look middle class. Short hair and cleanliness can get you mistaken for a tourist. It helps.

Camping in a wooded area is a good thing. Don't sleep too close to housing. They will call the cops.

Try to not be a trouble-maker yourself. The cops are much less likely to hassle you if you are merely dirt poor and sleeping outside somewhere.


I'll monitor some neighborhood, I really think there are spots with very few people there at night yet with a bit of space and benches to lay at night. Also I'm not in the US, the social climate there might be very different from Europe (more weapons and very sensitive to private property).


> Don't take any disrespect off of anyone. Push back or walk away at the first insult. Otherwise, it escalates.

Pushing back is a fast way to get arrested. No one questions a cop tackling a "crazy homeless guy" who was having an altercation with a fine, upstanding citizen.


Push back doesn't have to be ugly or escalating. It can be subtler and de-escalating. The entire point should be to de-escalate.

It's something I do a lot of. What you want is to avoid standing idly by while people slippery slope you into something super bad.

There was an incident at a library in Fresno where someone working for services sent their people to come "help" us and they were horribly disrespectful and I refused to answer their questions and called them on their rudeness. They went and complained to the librarians who basically sent them away.

After that, all library staff were vastly nicer to us.

Push back doesn't mean calling them names. It means calling out their socially unacceptable behavior.

I also sometimes refused to give my name to strangers who wanted to help and were inappropriately grilling me for information. I would point out that if I weren't homeless, they would never in a million years think it was okay to walk up to me and start peppering me with invasive questions.


That is the walk away part. Obviously, judgement is needed with police, but the general idea is to deescalate and not validate or encourage interaction.

If there is no reward, some work, you can be on your way.

An important concept here is your agency in interactions, dialog.

You do have control of your end of it, and that is a significant contributor to how it all goes. Put simply, there are a lot of options besides righteous indignation. Use them.

Doing that is not taking shit, more like managing it down and away.

Where power differentials are in play, this all matters. Peers, in that sense, allow for more.

These can be life saving when we are vulnerable and lacking resources, friends. Been there in my past. One time, it involved a gun, pointed right at me, loaded.

At that time, my agency, it's implications were never more clear.

The way I see it, being here to talk about it is a nice problem to have. Priorities. Sometimes they end up being really basic.

In my experience, that basic nature, personal agency --what is proper, what may be needed, what that all means, even just seeing the options possible, like all of them, or more than expected, is hard for people who have not had these kinds of experiences.


One week I measured how much water I needed to clean myself top to bottom: two glasses.

I eat low and don't feel hungry (although I don't suffer cold which drains energy fast)

I agree that it can be daunting but I think it's not the quantity it's the regularity of supplies.


> One week I measured how much water I needed to clean myself top to bottom: two glasses.

This measurement is meaningless without calibrating for how dirty you were to start with. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume you were mostly clean and presentable, wearing freshly cleaned clothes daily, only needing to wash off some sweat and skin oils.

A person living rough on the streets will probably be wearing dirty clothes for days or weeks, and constantly be exposed to the elements. The grime accumulates, and unless you've reproduced these conditions in your experiment, your figures are unrealistic.


Of course I was talking about water requirement for regular daily showers. It would be stupid to speak about rough dirt.


The context of the parent you were replying to was homeless people, and your reply appears to suggest that they could bathe with a couple glasses of water. It's absurd.


It's not absurd, it was to measure to minimum amount of daily water one needs to maintain hygiene. Some homeless people rely on public bath house which are disgusting and not always available, I know now that I only need two cup of water (and a shower mitt) to do so.


It's irrelevant to the requirements of a homeless person. You're basically not dirty at all living a typical domestic western life spent mostly at a keyboard and indoors.


oh and btw, I didn't mean that as a burden to homeless people, but as a data point. It's worth knowing for everybody else, if you know how few they need, we can all give them a bit every day.


I'll try it on my next forest week


Two glasses of water is perhaps barely enough to wash my (fairly unimpressive) hair with shampoo, and the hand better be steady. Is there some special technique?


True I forgot hairs, maybe I had very short ones at the time. So my comment was for everything else, when I meant top to bottom, I meant scrubbing and washing everything damn clean, not just a quick job.

A bit related too, if you're homeless, cut your hairs. You won't look homeless and you'll need less water :)


Possibly spongebaths and a buzzcut could make that work. But it's quite a goal to work towards. Taking a shower with a closed drain (if you have tub/shower) suggests I'd need a lot more.


Showering is an incredibly wasteful form of bathing, most of the water just goes down the drain doing absolutely nothing.


This is why I used a Glass


Sponges and low standards or 1 gallon glasses




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